By Robyn A. Friedman
For all those baby boomers growing older and wondering whether they’re financially secure enough to retire, we have good news and bad news.
The bad news: Many individuals lack retirement savings. According to a Federal Reserve survey released in May, 31 percent of non-retired adults reported that they have no retirement savings or pension whatsoever — including 27 percent of non-retired respondents age 60 or older. What’s more, of those who are saving, a surprising number say they lack confidence in their ability to manage their retirement investments.
The good news: “It’s never too late,” says Michael Silver, a certified financial planner with Baron Silver Stevens Financial Advisors in Boca Raton. “People are living until they’re 100, so somebody at age 50 has many more years ahead of them to save.”
What should you be doing to build wealth at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond?
Create a financial plan. “If you’ve hit age 50, it’s time for a reality check to see if you are on track for retirement, or if you’ll need some major tweaks to make your plan work,” says Mari Adam, a certified financial planner in Boca Raton. Meet with a financial planner, accountant, attorney or other wealth manager to set up a plan to help you achieve your goals in retirement.
Consider real estate — a “wonderful asset for building wealth,” Silver says. A primary residence allows you to build equity and offers tax advantages — even when you sell it — and investment real estate “has always been an excellent part of a diversified portfolio,” he says.
Max out your retirement plans. This may not be possible for younger workers, but people in their fifties are generally at their peak earning years. “That should free up more money to contribute toward retirement savings,” says Shomari D. Hearn, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Fort Lauderdale. “And, once you reach age 50, you can also benefit from catch-up contributions.”
Live tinier. Alex Navarro, a private financial advisor with SunTrust Investment Services in Bal Harbour, says that those who discover that they haven’t saved enough — not uncommon these days because people are living longer — should plan on working longer and start downsizing. By cutting back on expenses, you’ll be able to stash more away for the future.